Well, it’s another series (maybe). I can’t seem to blog in a straight line these days and that’s fine — it’s almost peppermint schnapps season.
Back when I was commuting to the North End in Boston I would sometimes bike behind this guy I called "the bumblebee" because he’d taped up his black single speed with bright yellow reflective tape in stripes all over, and he was a friendly guy to pass or to be passed by depending on the morning, and the other day I saw him going the other way over the Mass Ave bridge and it was really affirming, somehow, to know he’s still out there riding around, too.
All I want to do when I grow up is be an old guy wandering around in a public park on a weekday morning staring up at a tree and probably thinking, "huh: nice tree."
I got passed today at a light by a dude clipped in (SPD) to his track bike, and then he got passed by a dude clipped in (SPD-SL) to his nicer track bike, and I didn’t have the legs or care really to try and keep up with either of them, but based on the second guy’s low RPM at the speed even I was going (~19-20), he must have been pushing a 50T chainring or something. Just goes to show you that you’re only hot shit until the next guy shows up. Also, it’s about time I switched back to commuting in clipless pedals (I have cozy boots for the winter, and also my toe-clip-commuting shoes are starting to stink to high heaven and I can’t seem to get rid of the smell).
Bikes bikes bikes.
We have reached the point in autumn where half of us are wearing big puffy coats while others of us are wearing shorts and/or T-shirts for the commute. I keep forgetting that it warms up by about ten degrees as soon as I cross the town line over into Cambridge.
On Wednesdays we do long rides before work to some coffee shop or bakery or other and sometimes that means that I come into the city through Allston, passing by the Landry’s on Beacon. They’ve got a tent and a bike stand out most mornings and I usually blow by them but the other day I’d left the guys I ride with to go their own ways back across the river and stopped: my chain was making horrible, embarrassing sounds. (When did I become the kind of person who doesn’t both to lube his chain? When I stopped working in a shop, I guess.) So anyway I stopped and asked for some lube and like bike people we talked about bikes. The older guy — not that old, just older than the two charming, sweet, and kind of knuckle-headed college guys out there that morning — and I had that moment of recognition when he asked what I did for a living and I told him but told him that I used to work at the shop I used to work at. He had too. (It seems like half of Boston’s shop folks have cycled through there at some point sometimes.) Anyway, we had a nice chat and I went on my way with a much less embarrassing chain, thinking just a little bit about his offer to come do a shift sometime if I ever missed it, was feeling itchy.
It finally happened: someone I passed on my way in walked into the bike room at the building when I was leaving. I don’t think he recognized me, but he sure as shit recognized my horrifically green bike.
I hate daylight savings because it’s just objectively bad. I will say though, that the change back to Standard Time meant that the sun that Monday morning was marvelous.